Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Ahalya (Mythological Monologues #1)

I looked at him
for seconds that felt like eons passing by,
He had just cursed me
to transform into a stone;
Me- his loyal, devoted, beloved wife, Ahalya
He mouthed the curse
the way one rebukes a stray animal
No - not even an animal perhaps
A non-living object devoid of feelings
He had cursed me to transform into a stone. 
I was not heartbroken 
by the destiny that awaited me,
but by the trampling 
of my faith, trust, dignity and love.

The Great Sage Gautam
was no ordinary human being;
Couldn't he gauge my innocence
from my eyes that had always venerated him?
Couldn't he see how 
I was lured by the devious King Indra
who masqueraded as my husband
at the holy hours of dawn? 
But alas! My husband felt ashamed
to look into my eyes
as I have become impure and tainted. 
Why was I not given one chance to speak?
One chance to express my heart?
Wasn't it I who was wronged beyond measure?
Yet I was given the cruelest punishment
to transform into a stone
till Lord Rama's holy feet liberates me. 

I looked at Sage Gautam
And then at King Indra
The two men who wronged me
One- in untamed anger
Another- in unquenchable lust
Yet I had to pay the final price,
My fault is that I am a woman.
In my third eye, 
I could envision the future of women
Men will molest them, rape them
Yet society will blame 
and punish the poor women;
I shuddered at the magnitude of the curse
Sage Gautam did not just curse me
He had cursed all women in his rage. 
The agony of my daughters, 
granddaughters and great-granddaughters
Made an excruciating lump form in my throat;
I wanted all my thoughts and emotions to stop
Defeated, I embraced the curse 
And turned into a lump of stone. 

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: In the Hindu epic Ramayana, the character of Ahalya is given a lot of importance. She was created by God Brahma and was the most beautiful woman. She was married to Sage Gautam and later cursed by him when Indra seduced her. She was liberated from the curse by Lord Rama, an avatar of God Vishnu. 


  1. Powerful

    The Old Shelter - Living the Twenties

  2. Hari OM
    Purba - this captures the plight of Ahalya so wonderfully - and a perfect one to start with as tomorrow is Sri Ramnavami and He it was who brought her redemption... oh... the lot of women... YAM xx

    1. Thank you so much Yamini for being on this journey.

  3. Ahalya is a fascinating character and you've caught the charm in your lines.

  4. Ahalya is a fascinating character and you've caught the charm in your lines.

  5. Loved reading Ahalya's story in the form of a poem. Very creative and powerful. It sad to note that the atrocities against women have been continuing since times immemorial... Nothing has changed...

    1. Absolutely! Nothing has changed. Thank you Shilpa.

  6. Wow! You put the life through your words. Never expected Ahalya's story in the form of a poem. Great Job!

  7. Evocative! Beautiful writing Purba. Had a lump in my throat as well as I neared the end.

  8. Bravo! I've always been a fan of your writing and this poem stirs one's soul. I can't wait to find what you've in store for us this April! :)

  9. Aah heart wrenching but so true dear. Loved the weave and the unique theme. You really have a way with poetry

  10. Very beautiful and powerful! Loved it! :)

  11. How beautiful Purba! You described the pain and anguish of Ahalya so beautifully, in lyrical way. Loved it.

  12. Such power-packed message in these beautifully adorned words.

  13. Such a powerful, moving take on one of the injustices against women in our mythology. Loved how you connected it to the present times and retold an ancient tale from a refreshingly new view point. Loved you first entry. Eagerly waiting for more! :)

  14. The wrongdoings towards women since ages has never ceased. Ahalyas still continue to be victims at the hands of men and their innocent please fell on the rock.
    So beautifully worded!!

  15. Beautiful post!
    Feel free to join the A to Z Challengers Linky Party:
    AtoZ Linky party

  16. Extremely well-researched and poignant piece! I love the way you have weaved in the social commentary relevant to the present day. WOW! Thank you for writing this post. Looking forward to walking the #BlogchatterA2Z journey with you.

  17. Wow, knew the story of Ahalya... But reading it in the form of such a beautifully portrayed poem is just fascinating... Will look forward for all your posts going ahead

  18. You have started the challenge on a unique theme. Great.


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